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Trekkies descend onto Riverside for 34th annual TrekFest

Thousands of Star Trek fans are expected to file into the small town of Riverside for an annual celebration of the series.

Decades ago, Riverside claimed itself as the future birthplace of Captain James T. Kirk, one of the series main characters first portrayed by William Shatner. For 34 years, Riverside has been the home of the annual TrekFest, a celebration of all things Star Trek.

Last year, organizers estimated that 5,000 to 8,000 fans came for the two-day event.

"We have some that even come in from overseas," Kevin Miller, this year’s TrekFest Executive Director, said.

The theme of "Khan!" is being used this year.  One of Saturday’s event will be to see who best yells "Khan!". The winner gets two tickets to see Shatner at his Cedar Rapids event in September.

"Probably the best of the movies," Mary Cichanowski. Cichanowski describes herself as a lifelong Star Trek fan. From Pickwick, Minnesota, she’s been coming to TrekFest for the last ten years.

She said her affection of the series comes from the science aspect, the humor, and the comradry it creates.

Miller said that the event isn’t only for Trekkies, but it’s for the townies, too.

"It’s a chance to showcase the community. We’re just 15 minutes south of Iowa City but a lot of people think we’re way farther than that, and we’re a great community," Miller said. "It’s a wonderful place to live. Having the spotlight turn on us for a weekend, it’s a wonderful thing for the town."

On Saturday, TrekFest will also be unveiling a new, life size, bronze statute of Captain Kirk. Other events taking place on Saturday include a Star Trek parade, costume contest, movie marathon, and a guest event featuring Star Trek historians. A full schedule can be found here.


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